The Rest during the flight to Egypt (1504 – 1505) by Albrecht Durer

The Rest during the flight to Egypt - Albrecht Durer - 1504 - 1505

Artwork Information

TitleThe Rest during the flight to Egypt
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1504 - 1505
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The Rest during the flight to Egypt

“The Rest during the Flight to Egypt” is a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer between 1504 and 1505. It is part of the “Life of the Virgin” series and embodies the Northern Renaissance art movement. The medium used for this piece is woodcut, and it falls into the genre of religious painting, depicting a moment from a biblical narrative.

Examining the artwork, we see a detailed and meticulously crafted scene. In the foreground, to the right, the Holy Family is central to the composition, with the Virgin Mary seated and holding the infant Jesus, as Joseph stands nearby, all under the shade of a tree. The inclusion of an angel holding a large parasol above the Virgin further emphasizes her significance. Beyond this intimate gathering, an elaborate, bustling landscape unfolds, with various individuals engaged in different activities.

The scene is set in front of an architecturally detailed building that suggests a mix of both contemporary and classical elements. At the very top left-hand side of the composition, an angelic figure is seen descending from the clouds, perhaps symbolizing divine intervention or protection during this biblical episode.

Noticeable is the fine line work that characterizes Dürer’s woodcuts, exhibiting extraordinary attention to texture and patterns. The trees, architecture, and clouds all demonstrate an intricate use of line to create depth, movement, and realism despite the monochromatic format. Each figure within the scene is individualized, contributing to a narrative that feels both divine and human.

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